When I first saw the page, I almost closed it in disgust...
Who the hell wants to read a web page where they misspell HTTPS ??
Then somehow my eyes caught the word 'temporal'.
Hyper-spatial temporal tunnelling protocol proxy server
read the rather inconspicuous expansion of the acronym.
There was little else on the page except a huge blue link saying :
Then the weirdness started!!
I could have sworn that the download window of my browser opened a fraction of a second before I actually clicked on the link.
"Hmmmm weird... maybe the mouse button is acting up!" I thought, but then again the left button hadn't ever done that before.
In a couple of seconds the browser was redirected to a rather plain looking text file , which read as follows:
While you may not have been aware , you have already had a demonstration of our
unique and 'futuristic' technology.
We are the 'Joint Temporal Experts Group' , working on several top secret
technologies. By a purely random means , you were selected to be a beta tester
for one of our more hush-hush projects - The HSTTP proxy.
To describe it succinctly , it's a 'time machine' for your HTTP packets.
That was the reason your browser started downloading the file before you clicked
Our webserver services download requests for this application one second
before they arrive.
The software you are now downloading isn't so much complex in itself , it's
simply a small local proxy that sits between your browser and our servers,
translating your requests into a special form.
Running it brings up a small digital clock display showing time and date.
After you set up your browser setting to use 127.0.0.1:81 as a proxy, you are
ready to go.
Just adjust the the clock to the time and date you want to browse , and you can
view the webpage belonging to that time, past or future.
----- double take -----
By this time , I was pretty sure this was all a crazy gimmick to host some nasty backdoor on my system and trojanize it.
But then I noticed that the download speed had suddenly shot up to 100 mbps on my download meter.
That was like a 100 times faster than my connection speed!
----- continuing -----
You have surely noticed by now that the download speed has increased a hundred fold.
That is because we are sending packets across time to save you some of it and demonstrate
our amazing technology.
Enjoy our software!!
PS : Be careful of temporal causality violations...
The entire JTEG team.
The last note seemed a little ominous to me.
Kind of like saying "You are now the proud owner of an assault rifle, please don't shoot anyone important with it"
But being an avid reader of science fiction and having watched "Back to the future" and "TimeCop" and "Timeline" ad nauseam, I considered myself quite an expert on causality and temporal paradoxes.
I shrugged off the feeling of dread, boldly double-clicked on the downloaded program and set up my browser proxy as they instructed.
My first instinct was to use the scientific method to test it. Obviously I could not depend on the outside world wide web to check its action as it might just be some trick proxy server sending old cached pages.
So as the Buddhists say, "I looked inward..."
I fired up Apache and patched up a small HTML page which showed the current time on my system.
Then disconnecting from my network, I first set the clock to 2 minutes in the future.
I assured myself that by just reading the time, I wouldn't be transmitting any significant information into the past or future (actually both ways since it was HTTP over HSTTP).
I navigated to http://127.0.0.1 and my eyes nearly popped out!!
Now I was shaking with fear, excitement and glee.
Think of the possibilities...
The fun I could have...
The havoc I could wreak!!!!!
Today localhost ... Tommorow the world!!!!!
I started questioning the sanity of the JTEG folks for offering the download to random individuals such as myself, but as it turned out they had all bases covered ...
The first thing to do was to find out this peculiar 'HSTTP' proxy's IP address and the protocol it used. With luck it should be some plain-text protocol and if I could figure it out, I should be able to use this thing anywhere, anytime (anytime... heh! heh!)
I brought up the ethereal packet sniffer and started logging the outbound packets.
I wound back the clock display as far as it would go and it read 12:00 AM 1/1/1970.
Good old google.com ...
Obviously there was no google as such then (or the WWW for that matter) so I should receive a simple "Host not found" error.
No sooner said than done…
The packets flew by in ethereal and sure enough it was a plain old http.
had turned into
The significance of the web address or port did not strike me then... ( And I should have known they were UNIX junkies
On a whim, I threw caution to the winds (I'm the type who tests 48 volts DC
with the tongue) and navigated to news.google.com setting the date to 2020,
curious to see if the oil crash
had hit hard then and whether they had cold fusion
Instead I got :
HSTTP Error : 714
Temporal causality violation.
The information in the web-page you are trying to view exceeds
the allowed TIQ ( Temporal Interference Quotient ).
Please try another time.
"Aha!" I thought, "These guys are good... They have all the paradoxes blocked!"
And a corny sense of humor too "Please try another time" indeed!
For sometime I wondered how my evil plans to use this for fun and profit would work out, and then suddenly I had it ....
By reading tomorrows stock prices, today and investing a tiny bit, I would not be exceeding my TIQ quota, since the combination of my miniscule tradings and the chaotic markets would drown out everything in the noise.
I cautiously ( I didn't want some bug in their software or my foolhardiness tearing a hole in the universe ) experimented for a few days and actually found that my theory actually worked.
It was the same for all chaotic models , the weather, the traffic and so on...
I continued to use this proxy until the software went public in the year 2040, by which time I had amassed a small fortune through my 'investments' and a vast library of future technological documents ( I had come to realize over time that just knowing some information from the future would never cause causality violations as long as it wasn't remotely connected to me).
It turned out that there were only 7 beta testers who had continued to use it over this period, among whom I was the only one who had made most of the "time".
Soon after, JTEG had perfected the science of what is now called Temporal branch theory which allowed them to implement copy on write semantics for universal effectations.This was rapidly put into operation after the great "Lets-swamp-an-ancient-webserver-with-too-many-parallel-requests" mania that all the script kiddies went into when the software became freely available for download.
They also developed an O(log N) algorithm for universal garbage collection which allowed them to delete otherwise lifeless universes to make space for useful branches (also speeding up trans-temporal host resolution by a huge factor). Soon they started auto-updation of their server software from the future.
The storage device market was hit really bad as people no longer needed backup they could read the data from the past when it was generated.
But then there was an alternate market to host data to be read from the future, so the data storage folks jumped bandwagons and got into that side of the business
Rumor now has it that the hardware they use would soon be small and cheap enough for end users, and that JTEG would begin field testing soon.
I just can't wait for my own temporal IP router!! Full IPv6 support , SMTP , POP , HTTP , FTP , RTSP - the works...
I boldly decided today, to make this write-up documenting this wonderful stuff, the information dispersed backwards in time can in no way affect me or my universe anymore as I just upgraded to the paid Version 1.77 today which allows a +/-40 year temporal range!!!
At worst the version of me in the destination time when I post this writeup could lose some XP.
I'm a level 99 noder now anyway, so who cares.
July 3rd 2046 9:58 AM